Glashütte Original is widely known for their Senator line of dressy, beautifully-finished and classically reserved watches. As such, when they decide to flex a little, people tend to sit up and take notice. For Baselworld 2015, GO went full HAM with the Senator Cosmopolite, a finely-honed and impressively complex German machine that attempts to simplify the life of those who frequently jump from one timezone to another.
GMT watches come in many varieties and a world time feature can be found on most digital watches, but the Glashütte Original Senator Cosmopolite is no garden-variety travel timer. Equipped to manage not only the common full hour timezones but also half and quarter hour offsets, the Glashütte Original Senator Cosmopolite can easily be adjusted to show the time in any two of 37 possible timezones, using the common IATA (airport codes) as reference. Once the Glashütte Original Senator Cosmopolite is correctly set (see below), one must only rotate a single crown to jump set the local time zone, which is synced with the correct IATA code, clockwise if traveling East, counter-clockwise if you’re headed West.
Available in white or red gold, the Glashütte Original Senator Cosmopolite is 44mm wide with a lacquered silver grained dial and a lovely blue or black alligator leather strap. With a slim bezel, the large case size feels even bigger, and the Glashütte Original Senator Cosmopolite wears just as large as its 44mm sizing would suggest. This timezone taskmaster is powered by the calibre 89-02, an automatic in-house movement with a 72-hour power reserve, off-set micro rotor, and a rate of 4Hz. Comprised of over 400 individual parts, the 89-02 is, as you would expect, beautifully finished and regulated with four gold screws on the balance rim.
Despite the cool and entirely GO aesthetic, there is a lot going on underneath the hood of this watch, which I’ve attempted to simplify with the above diagram. Once the user is acclimated to the layout, the Glashütte Original Senator Cosmopolite offers home time and AM/PM indication on the sub dial at 12, along with a power reserve display. The main time display is for local time (where you’re visiting) and there is a separate local am/pm sub dial at 9. The GO-signature Panorama date is linked with local time and will correctly jump with travel over the international date line. The local timezone is selected using the two windows at 8, with full hour timezones showing in black, half hour zones in blue, and 15 or 45 minute offsets in red. There is also a separate window for daylight savings time (), so if your destination is currently in DST, place the airport code in that aperture.
Setting the watch requires a specific procedure that is based upon establishing home time and then dialing in the local time. Starting with the crown at 2, you wind the watch and set the current home time. Next, you use the crown at 4 to also set the main time display to home time. Using the crown at 8, you then set the timezone code indicator to your applicable home IATA code (in the DST window if applicable to your location). Finally, using a flush corrector at 9 on the case side, set the date to the current date at home. Now you’re ready to fly. When you land at your destination, simply turn the crown at 4 clockwise if you’ve traveled East, or counter clockwise if you’ve traveled west. The main time display, local AM/PM, and date will all respond to the local IATA code you select – how cool is that?
While the Glashütte Original Senator Cosmopolite is, by any standard, a luxury of the purest form, its ability to offer a complex and capable mechanical travel complication in a user-friendly and fuss-free manner is nothing short of hugely impressive. For the well-heeled traveler, especially those that may frequently jump in an out of less-common timezones, I would imagine that the Glashütte Original Senator Cosmopolite could be quite handy. I generally travel with a Casio Rangeman because I like the simplicity of jumping between home and local time and because it won’t be damaged when I have to take it off at security or bang it about in the tight confines of a plane. While the Glashütte Original Senator Cosmopolite only addresses one of those concerns, it does so more effectively than its distant digital relative, with the Rangeman only managing (by my count) a paltry 31 timezones. A fair comparison? Not even remotely, but perhaps an interesting observation.
Being a complicated, mechanical and handmade German watch, the Glashütte Original Senator Cosmopolite will retail for $43,500 USD in red gold and $45,300 in white. Yes, that is a huge sum of money, but with the watch world being the watch world, I have little doubt that the Glashütte Original Senator Cosmopolite will have trouble finding eager buyers. The Glashütte Original appeal is undeniable, the design – from user interface to the technology and aesthetics is on point and, while the case size is a bit on the larger size, the Glashütte Original Senator Cosmopolite is a conversation piece that also manages some true functionality. This is your tourbillon’s smarter younger bother, and I love it. glashuette-original.com